morning, the Secretary of State at the German Federal Ministry for Economy,
Bernd Pfaffenbach, declared in a press release today that (in his view contrary
to Ms. Reding's statements earlier today) paragraph 9a of the
Telecommunications Act (TKG) does not provide for a special treatment of DTAG's
VDSL and fibre network.
"This is not a case of undermining competition"
[...] "The regulation is formulated in a technology neutral way and is
very closely oriented towards the European directions. The concrete decision,
whether a certain market - e.g. DTAG's VDSL network - is subject to regulation,
is not decided at the legislative level, but by the [regulatory authority]
Bundesnetzagentur through the established regulatory process, which has been
checked with the European Commission."
"The German government is therefore of the opinion that
paragraph 9a TKG conforms to the EU legal and regulatory framework for
Update 26 Feb 2007 (1): The European Commission announced today that it had decided to initiate 'fast track' infringement proceedings against Germany relating to the 'emerging markets' clause that is now incorporated in the German Telecommunications Act.
"I regret that Germany has chosen to ignore the Commission's
concerns about this new telecom law despite several clear warnings from the
Commission," [...] "The
granting of regulatory holidays to incumbent operators is an attempt to stifle
competition in a crucial sector of the economy, and in violation of the EU
telecom rules in place since 2002."
bound to lead to numerous legal disputes at EU and national level," [...] "This is the worst possible signal for investment, as
now neither the incumbent nor new market entrants will have legal certainty in
Germany. Efficient implementation of EU telecom rules would clearly have been
the better way to promote both competition and investment."